And that’s about it folks. The caravan rolls along to Ahmedabad, where the third Test will start in eight days time. What a series this is turning out to be, I can’t wait! England can take some small pleasures with them. The superb form of Foakes, who showed just good he is behind the stumps, garnering praise from Adam Gilchrist to VVS Laxman. Moeen Ali, rusty and who suffered from full-toss-itus, still managed to pick up a pocket-ful of wickets and smack a soul-enhancing vignette at the end. Olly Stone performed nicely in just his second Test. Plenty of thinking for Joe Root and his brains trust over selection. India can just whistle and put their feet up for a week – though there’s not a chance in hell that Virat Kohli would allow that.
Thanks for your company, and emails to all of us along the way. Time for coffee, have a lovely day!
Alec Stewart is pondering the wicket-keeping quandry. “Ben Foakes had a fantastic game, he won’t keep on a trickier surface than that.In tough conditions, like in India, I’m in favour of playing the very best wicket-keeper. I won’t hear a word against Jos Buttler and he’s brilliant in English conditions.”
Three stumpings in the match for Foakes – the most for an English keeper in a game since Alan Knott in 1968.
Some stats for you:
One final email, drifts and turns. Ram Sridhar writes” “Trust you are well. Just wanted to make a final note:The likes of Vaughan, David Lloyd, Sir Alistair Cook , Paul Newman and anyone who whinge about the pitch needs to calm down a bit because:
Dust bowl pitches (Asia) – Spin, break, scoot etc
Green tops (Mostly England) – skid, shimmy etc
The 5th test in Old Trafford 2014 was over in 3ish days with India bundled out for 90 odd runs. Didn’t we say terrible pitch but abysmal batting skills by India. Same here. Period. Shouldn’t batsmen get their skills in line??
I think we should let this pitch disappear quietly into the ether. Joe Root explicitly didn’t criticise it during his post-match interview. The fact India managed to bat pretty well on it yesterday quietened down a lot of the criticism. It was a raging turner and advantageous to India but that’s home advantage for you and England weren’t quite good enough this time.
Ah, so R Ashwin IS the man of the match, all is now right with the world. It did seem a bit tight what with a century and eight wickets in the match.
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That 317-run margin is India’s largest against England.
The man of the match is … Axar Patel! Oh no, I’m confused, now Rohit Sharma has got an award too…anyway, they both played well, though R Ashwin could feel justifiably peeved.
Here comes Virat: “It was a bit strange in the first game, playing at home without the crowd in the stands. Things were a bit flat for the first two days, myself included, but we picked ourselves up. The crowd makes a massive difference, Chennai crowd everyone knows they are very very intelligent ,they understand their cricket very well so for me if there is 20 minute period where the bowler needs encouragement it is my job as a captain together that support.
“I think our application with the bat was outstanding in this game. The conditions were hard but we scored 600 runs total, if you do that we know our bowlers are going to do the job in those conditions.”
“I don’t think the toss would have made such a difference on this pitch actually, both sides had to apply themselves and we got nearly 300 runs on the third day.
“Rishabh shed a lot of weight, he’s worked hard…, the way he kept shows how much he’s improved. Axar Patel, – its a special, special moment for him, he was very keen to step onto the field, he couldn’t wait to get theb all in his hand.”
“I take a lot of pride in improving myself very quickly, now for me if I make an error I make sure in the very next innings I iron it out. I decided to trust my defence .”
Ahmedabad: “Going to be challenging, we expect no easy cricket from England.”
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Well, that makes it exciting, doesn’t it? The next Test starts in Ahmedabad on February 24. It’s a day-nighter, with a pink ball, and that killer swing as the light fades. Could be the Test for the Broad-Anderson double act to be revived. The commentators think Moeen is going home, but we wait to have that confirmed – that dregs of the day cameo will have boosted his confidence no end. Just so good to see him on song.
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Joe Root is talking to Mark Nicholas, and very impressive he is too.
“ I think it has shown our batters and spinners what it is like playing in this part of the world. The toss was an important one but I don’t think it determined the game. Credit to India, they outplayed us totally this week but we’ve got to learn from it. We’ve just got to stay level, keep trying to get better, and in these conditions we’ve got to find ways of scoring runs and bulding partnership just as they did.
“I think we would like to have bowled slightly better on the first day, find ways of bowling pressure, bowling six balls at one batter and just didn’t quite manage to do that, something I think we can get right in the future.
Rotation?”Its a difficult time in that respect but we have to manage the best we can. You look at the side you put out there is no question they are a talented bunch of players. Questions will be asked about resting Jimmy Anderson but we replaced him with the Number two bowler in the world. It is very tricky, players are spending long days away from their families, the fact of the matter is we’ve been out played on a wicket which has spun and is very foreign to our batting line up. Got a period now to have some honest discussions and ask how we’re going to manage things, We wont beat ourselves up too much, won’t get ahead of ourselves, we’ll come back and be fighting for the rest of the series.
His dismissal today, “It was the kind of wicket where if one had your name on you had to accept it. “
England 164 (Axar 5-60) India win by 317 runs
A huge margin of victory, India’s biggest at Chennai in terms of runs, and it tells the story of the match: England completely out-played, out-batted, out bowled. A raging turner, yes, conditions much more familiar to the home side, but that’s the beauty of touring. The teams are 1:1 with two Tests to play.
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WICKET! Moeen stumped Pant b Kuldeep 43
There’s time for just one more glorious four, with the spin, through the covers, before Kuldeep outwits him, sending one into the rough which spins past the outside edge and leaves Moeen grasping and Pant removes the bails with stretched out arms. And with that, the series is alive.
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54th over: England 160-9 (Broad 5, Moeen 39) Hee Hee! Moeen does it to the master as well as the young pretender: dot, four, six. Push, chip, sweep. A single, gives Broad two to survive, which he does, just.
53rd over: England 149-9 (Broad 5, Moeen 28) Cover drive? Why not, says Stuart Broad who licks his lips and sends Kuldeep spinning away to the boundary. And survives the rest of the over. They decline the single which leaves Moeen to face Axar Patel again… oh no it doesn’t, Ashwin is back.
“Good morning Tanya,” Good morning Column Fordham.
“I usually find it hard to peel my eyes away from the cricket but the thin pink-tinged clouds over Vesuvius were quite something to behold this morning. And arguably a welcome distraction from the horror show put on by our batsmen this morning. Had hoped Pope and Foakes would make more of a fist of it but their sweeping technique is not up to Joe Root’s and even the master got lucky. What to hope for this session? I suppose for England to surpass their first innings score, Joe Root get a fifty and Moeen show us he’s still a batsman.”
Well one out of two ain’t bad.
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52nd over: England 145-9 (Broad 1, Moeen 28) Five wickets for Axar on debut but what’s this? Moeen Ali fancies some fun. Six over long on – such grace! And another, shimmy, shimmy pow! And one more for three in a row, a shorter ball and smacked higher and straighter for another six.
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WICKET! Stone lbw Axar 0
Stone throws a sweep into the mix, misses, and is given out by one that seems to hit very high up the thigh. He reviews optimistically, and is swiftly dispatched.
51st over: England 126-8 (Stone 0, Moeen 10) Off the mark with a six? Why not! Moeen swings the bat in a beauteous arc and the ball soars over long on. A gorgeous cut for four follows.
50 overs: England 116-8 (Stone 0, Moeen 0) Superb bowling by Axar Patel, a debut to dream of. Root lasted just two balls after lunch, applauded off the field by his teammates – had a huge slice of luck to survive till the break but it ran out here. A truly unplayable delivery.
WICKET! Root c Rahane b Axar 33
The big one! And it’s a beauty. It turns, turns again, swivel-swerves, bounces, rears off the pitch and catches his glove as it loops into the hands of Rahane at slip.
49 overs: England 116-7 (Root 33, Moeen 0) Kuldeep finishes his pre-lunch wicket-taking over. Moeen defends. The last ball turns, rears off the pitch, hits the shoulder of the bat and flies over the fielder’s head. Hello Mo!
“There’s lots of ways of getting out on this pitch,” understates Sir Andrew Strauss. “I think we have to have a bit of sympathy. Joe Root stands up because he has a far better range of strokes to play but even he has had a good slice of luck today.” Ooof yes, what a drop by Suraj.
England and India’s respective successes sweeping (as you might imagine.)
Good morning and thank you Adam – fabulous stuff as usual! As I brushed my teeth, I was envisaging a Root-Foakes black and white Sunday afternoon revival; but a brainfade later and we’re down to Moeen, Stone and Broad.
Kim Thonger is still optimistic, “I set the alarm so that I could rise early and do my special rain dance. It’s pelting down here in Northamptonshir, so it’s working, are the covers about to be deployed there? Have I saved England’s bacon?”
I think your rain dance might not travel as well as you’d hoped…
Largely as expected? I’d say so. Root is still battling away – lucky to still be there, truth told. The best the skipper can ask for from here is dragging this out, hoping someone can stick around with him. But in all likelihood, this will be over before tea. For those last rites from Chennai, I’ll hand over to Tanya Aldred. Thanks for your company!
48.3 overs: England 116-7 (Root 33)
WICKET (AND LUNCH)! Foakes c Axar b Kuldeep (England 116-7)
What was he thinking there? On the cusp of lunch, Foakes sweeps straight to the man at midwicket, setting up nowhere near low enough to execute the shot into the ground. Four wickets for the session with 63 runs added; India are three away from victory.
48th over: England 116-6 (Root 33, Foakes 2) Big shout! Not out! No review. Root was beaten on the inside edge by Axar but it has gone straight on and TV shows it was drifting down leg. The response? Two balls that turn huge and beat Root’s edge. Reminiscent of the deliveries Ravindra Jadeja bowled to Steve Smith on a similar surface at Pune in 2017 – one of his three masterpieces (Brisbane 2017 and Edgbaston 2019 the others, in case you were wondering). Ohhh, and he beats him sweeping to finish! So much bounce.
“Hi Adam.” Fantie Cam, hello to you. “Was going to ask the question – is the Pope a bataholic? Clearly not. In other news, the highest total at the Motera is 760-7 by Sri Lanka in the second innings in 2009. Batting festival coming up?” Pink ball, though? Green seamer?!
47th over: England 116-6 (Root 33, Foakes 2) Dropped catch! Siraj puts Root down! His reverse sweep has been far from effective so far this morning and it should be his downfall but Siraj puts down a sitter at backward point. No luck for Kuldeep: a timeless statement.
46th over: England 113-6 (Root 32, Foakes 0) Axar isn’t letting Foakes off the mark without a fight. More super bowling.
“Hi Adam.” Abhi Saxena, hello. “I had a question, why is England’s batting average card so average? Root seems to be doing too much heavy weight bearing. Whereas Stokes is exhausting himself regularly as the X factor England has and the second best batsmen. Do you think that extensive planning that has worked for England in ODIs, the approach they use, has made their best batting talent more white ball oriented? Or is it something else? How are the things in the English local cricket? Even the Kiwis seem to have discovered a more balanced test batting order these days, which I think has helped Kane as well. A good solid opener could do a world of good for both Root and Stokes I feel in the Ashes.”
To balance this: England batted really well in 2020, both at home and away (in South Africa). And last week (when it mattered), too.
45th over: England 112-6 (Root 31, Foakes 0) Kuldeep, all arms and legs, is up for lbw when Root once again gets tangled up in his reverse but it’s turned down and Kohli decides against reviewing.
44th over: England 111-6 (Root 30, Foakes 0) The batsmen crossed when Pope’s shot was hanging in the air, so Root has one left to deal with and takes a single to midwicket to retain strike. For all of Ashwin’s brilliance, Axar has been tip top on debut. To elaborate on the wicket, the ball before the one that picked up Pope was quick and turned big. The calculation from the right-hander must have been that he could handle that sweeping. But the spinner worked it out, holding back his next to earn some extra bounce. Nice work.
WICKET! Pope c Ishant b Axar 12 (England 110-6)
Clever bowling from Axar, beating Pope with a beauty then backing it up with a bit of extra flight, a top-edged sweep ending up with Ishant at deep midwicket. They aren’t far away from finishing this.
43rd over: England 110-5 (Root 29, Pope 12) My man, Kuldeep! Welcome to the bowling crease. Pope starts positively, turning off his front pad. Root is less persuasive, tangled up in his reverse sweep, prompting an appeal for leg before – not out. This should be fun.
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42nd over: England 107-5 (Root 28, Pope 10) Pope makes solid contact with his reverse sweep and gets two – he likes that shot. He adds another single to midwicket with the conventional version.
“Hey Adam.” Allo, Aditi. “Regarding the news about Kohli facing a possible suspension, my brother Atul had a great idea yesterday. How about introducing the system of merit points for good behaviour? Facing a possible ban? Walk off without waiting for the umpire and you get 3 merit points. Tie a batsman’s shoe laces and you get 1. Help him to overcome cramps and voila 2 merit points. And so on and so forth. The IPL has the system of the Fair Play trophy. But adding merit points would be a really good incentive for good behaviour.”
Ha! I like it. But here’s the thing: there’s more chance of me walking on the Moon than Kohli being suspended for the next Test Match.
41st over: England 103-5 (Root 27, Pope 7) We are seeing some footage of Jasprit Bumrah before play today practicing with the pink ball ahead of the day-night Test, which comes next in this series. It’s Ishant here to Pope, who plays a neat little square drive for four – all timing from the young man. He then gets couple more in the same direction later in the over. The Surrey man has started well.
“Hi Adam.” Hello, Naren Radhakrishnar. “I think the whole discussion about Ben Foakes and the larger debate about a specialist WK is probably due to the fact that over the last 25 odd years there have been some players who could have walked into any team as a WK or a batsmen- Andy Flower/Sangakkara/Gilchrist/Dhoni. These guys have made selectors all over the world to look for the next player like them, without acknowledging the fact that players like them come once in a while.”
Absolutely. Adam Gilchrist is to blame. He ruined it for all of them.
40th over: England 97-5 (Root 27, Pope 1) A rare short ball from Ashwin, carved away by Root for four. Nicely dealt with. Later in the over, Pope is off the mark with a single to extra cover.
“Hi Adam.” G’day, Ian Forth. “It’s not only Dan Lawrence and Rory Burns who are feeling nervous about the next test. I’m down to do my first stint of Guerrilla Cricket commentary next time round and am just listening to Gary Naylor and co now. They’re uniformly expert, fluent and humorous. I’m coming over all Mark Lathwell.”
Good on you for giving it a go! If you want to learn about the history of alternative commentary, Daniel Norcross and I devoted an episode of our Calling the Shots documentary to disruptors.
39th over: England 91-5 (Root 22, Pope 0) Ishant to Root with Kohli really whipping the crowd into a frenzy between deliveries. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea in the field but I’ve grown to quite enjoy his carry on – most of it, anyway. Nice reverse from the veteran with Root safe in defence and denying himself the flick on the on-side given there are three catching midwickets waiting for such a lapse.
“Good morning from soggy Somerset, Adam.” Hi Karen Brigden. Good afternoon from… well, what can I say? A lovely Sydney afternoon is the truth of it. I’m sorry! I’ll be back in London this time next week, though. “I have to have an angiogram this afternoon, which means no caffeine. So obviously the Gods of Circadian have decided that I wake up two hours early. While I would love us to have a miraculous recovery, I think that I want a nap, and thus a lunchtime finish, more.”
After that Stokes wicket, I reckon you’ll get your wish – this could still be over by the first break, make no mistake. More importantly, I hope everything goes well at the docs the afternoon.
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WICKET! Stokes c Kohli b Ashwin 8 (England 90-5)
It was coming for Ashwin against Stokes! Back to around the wicket, he gets one to go on straight, the left-hander plays for turn and it finds his inside edge, straight up to Kohli in close. And that is that.
38th over: England 90-5 (Root 22)
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37th over: England 89-4 (Root 21, Stokes 8) There’s some movement the other way for Ishant to start the new hour, finding Root’s inside edge. Stokes now, who is watchful for the remainder of the over.
“Good afternoon Adam!” And to you, Kumar G Vishwanath. “Thanks for the OBO commentary. Love the work you do. Also, listen to your podcast reviewing the day’s play. Anyways, moving away from tedious pitch talk, once this pandemic ends, which stadium would you want to be at watching cricket with full capacity crowds? You know the atmosphere, crowds and the whole shebang.”
Thank you – most kind. To nominate a ground… I’d love to return to Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium to watch a Dhaka Test. When visiting in 2017, Bangladesh’s PM was in tears of joy when they knocked Australia off in a close scrap. A fantastic tour.
36th over: England 88-4 (Root 20, Stokes 8) Two slips and a short leg the catchers in close for Ashwin to Stokes, who is happy kicking away the first of the fresh set and later too when pitching outside leg. For the rest, the all-rounder is forward in defence. Drinks!
“Good morning Adam.” Hello, Finbar Anslow. “Bit parky here in Cabella Ligure but they’re telling me we should get past zero today (hopefully inspiring a few England batsman) Can I plug my daughter Gwen’s great work in helping to produce this video for Mencap. Her knowledge of cricket was limited to Lagaan but a recent Jos Buttler podcast just might have intrigued her enough to actually watch some of today’s proceedings.”
That’s a beautiful and important video – thanks for sharing.
35th over: England 88-4 (Root 20, Stokes 8) Axar is replaced by Ishant Sharma. A tidy maiden to Root to begin from the big man. A little bit of reverse to finish, by the looks, away to the cordon.
“Hiya Adam, good morning from sun-kissed Macau.” Very nice, David Melhuish. “Tough times for England, make no mistake. They don’t seem to be getting the touch, each shot seems fragile, seat-of-the-pants stuff. In the BIG PICTURE I think only Skipper Root has put in a decent, strong performance in either match so far. Rory Burns, who had potential, Dom Sibley, Dan Lawrence are all a worry. Yes, Foakes batted superbly for his not-out, but that’s different. I think YJB should be given a place – he’s raring to go from the Ch4 interview. Combine Anderson, Broad with Archer to give some much needed bite, venom.”
I reckon Sibley stays on the basis of what happened last week but, yes, YJB for Burns? I can see that, albeit without a clear idea who might then open. Crawley should be fit as well. He’ll do it.
All true. However, I suspect they are more likely to get 130 than 330.
34th over: England 88-4 (Root 20, Stokes 8) Stokes doesn’t need to swing for the pickets at Ashwin, even when he overpitches – a swing and a miss at that. Imagine the response had that bowled him.
33rd over: England 88-4 (Root 20, Stokes 8) Root pulls the first bad ball Axar has sent down today, getting his second boundary for the morning. He’s back to sweeping, safely, later in the over. Stokes does the same to retain the strike. They’ve found a method, these two.
“Hi, Adam.” Hello, Robert McDougall. “I don’t want to inflame old passions, but I’m a little surprised that no English reader lamenting the state of the pitch has referred to Old Trafford in 1956. Regardless, it’s good to see the bowlers being given a moment of glory, taking them out of their usual existence as hacks born to serve lordly batsmen on shirtfront wickets. Leep up the good work.”
Usually, I dont want Test to end. But after the pitch debate this week, I never want to think about this match ever again!
32nd over: England 82-4 (Root 15, Stokes 7) A close call for Stokes when Axar hits his stumps from close range but he’s back after considering a sharp single. Ashwin is in a really good groove here. Should I mention that England need 400 further runs to win? Nah.
31st over: England 82-4 (Root 15, Stokes 7) Axar continues at England’s leadership axis, Stokes missing his slip but getting a couple off his thigh pad then sweeping a single to deep backward square. The tweaker has done a lot right so far this morning but it might be time for him to make way for the other left-armer.
30th over: England 79-4 (Root 15, Stokes 4) Stokes sweeps and misses, Ashwin appeals and is denied. Back leg but not out, pitching outside leg. By the end of the over, Ashwin is around the wicket to Root who is attempting to lap him out of the rough. As you do.
29th over: England 78-4 (Root 15, Stokes 3) Axar’s straight one to Root nearly slips through as it did just before the close last night, the England captain’s bat down in the nick of time. Stokes’ turn later in the over, who sweeps authoratatively to retain the strike.
“Should India try to bowl Kuldeep now instead of Axar?” asks Siva Kumar. “Kuldeep’s line might prove to be a little tougher for Root and will attack both sides of the bat.” My answer is to always bowl Kuldeep, but I’m far from objective on the topic. Get him on!
28th over: England 76-4 (Root 14, Stokes 2) It’s a different story sweeping Ashwin, who nearly sorts out Stokes with extra bounce. He’s plays with the straight back later in the over and is beaten with a ball not too different to the one that bowled him on Sunday.
“Hello Adam.” And to you, Shaunak Kakade. “Being an Indian, we don’t get to see that many great foreign players of spin often. Watching today only to see how Joe Root approaches spinning tracks like these. He’s a delight to watch to spin.”
27th over: England 74-4 (Root 13, Stokes 1) Root sweeps Axar, getting himself a single. Stokes is off the mark with a sweep of his own – nicely played. Back to Root, who stays with the shot, this time in front of square for the first boundary of the morning. Top shot.
“What a stumping by Rishabh Foakes!” writes Abhijato Sensarma. “A cricketing nutmeg.”
Both glovemen have had super games in very tough conditions.
26th over: England 68-4 (Root 8, Stokes 0) Was that a bit of premeditated work from Ashwin and Pant to dart the first ball down the legside? It looks like it from their chat before the over – outstanding, thoughtful cricket. Stokes’ turn and he cops a beauty from Ashwin, turning past his off-stump and right bouncing over Pant’s gloves. “You’ve just got to hope you miss it,” says Nick Knight.
WICKET! Lawrence st Pant b Ashwin 26 (England 66-4)
Brilliant work from Pant, managing to fetch a ball that skips through Lawrence’s legs before diving to take the bails. Miles out! Why the England youngster was advancing at Ashwin’s first ball of the morning is a difficult question to answer on face value.
25th over: England 66-3 (Lawrence 26, Root 8) Axar is giving Lawrence absolutely nothing, probing away from around the wicket. He’s uppish through the offside to finish, retaining the strike.
24th over: England 64-3 (Lawrence 25, Root 7) Huge appeal for lbw… turned down. No review from Kohli, which is the right call as Lawrence got a little inside edge on Siraj’s yorker-length inducker. “More the angle than reverse swing,” says Nick Knight. Lawrence makes contact with the next ball on leg stump, clipping a single.
23rd over: England 61-3 (Lawrence 24, Root 5) Positive from Lawrence, down to the first ball of Axar’s new over before driving a couple past mid-on then getting another single in the same direction. Root’s turn and he gets a beauty from Axar, turning a mile after pitching on leg stump. Root responds by attempting to sweep the next ball, just bouncing over his top edge. Lovely bowling.
22nd over: England 57-3 (Lawrence 21, Root 4) That spits from Siraj, Root just able to rip his bottom hand off before copping a whack on the fingers. He’s right on the spot here, angling in at the stumps and testing the England skipper’s defence delivery after delivery.
21st over: England 57-3 (Lawrence 21, Root 4) Axar gets the first opportunity to spin rather than Ashwin, beating Joe Root’s bat with his first two balls. Big, big turn. The England captain keeps his cool though, grabbing the single on offer in front of square leg.
20th over: England 56-3 (Root 2, Lawrence 21) Interesting to see pace from the get-go via Siraj, looking, as they say on telly, for a bit of early reverse swing? Root gets England’s first run of the day with a careful hook around the corner. Ooh, he’s fuller to Lawrence – a fine delivery, not far at all from his outside edge. He gets a couple from the outside portion of the bat to finish the over, out behind point.
“With the bat in hand, Ashwin’s on the quest to become the world’s best all-rounder again,” insists Abhijato Sensarma. “This Test century must be the most cathartic out of the five he’s scored, because this one’s come at his home ground. But rather than perceiving it as a story which has come full circle, Ashwin will be keen to begin a new one. He is the kind of man who writes his own fate. He’ll delight himself while proving the critics wrong with a return to form. He’s so much more than just one of the world’s best Test cricketers. He’s the cleverest of them all too.”
The players are on the field. Joe Root and Dan Lawrence, the floor is yours. Well, in theory at least. The skipper is on strike to begin, facing up to the pace of Mohammed Siraj to begin. PLAY!
“Afternoon Adam.” And good morning to you, Brian Withington. “I can scarcely believe it, but here I am, yet again, the just about living embodiment of the triumph of fragile hope over bitter experience. Hats off for your liberal sprinkling of potential crumbs of English comfort – though I fear Mr Ashwin will be devouring all such morsels greedily. As you say, an opportunity for Dan Lawrence to show his mettle in the most trying conditions; and at least our old foe, SB Pressure, is irrelevant in the circumstances. Bring it on.”
Well put. So much debate about the pitch, but scoreboard pressure is such a big driver in Tests like this. India turned the screws expertly.
The TV coverage has started. It’s 26 degrees in Chennai, which is pretty warm when considering it’s 9:25am local time. “Ed from Nairobi here.” Hello to you. “How about a big big partnership from Root and Lawrence to start the day? Highly unlikely due to the vagaries of the chennai pitch and the wizardry of Ashwin. If England can stretch it to day five, then it will add to the many storied chapters of test cricket, especially the 2021 audacious t20-lite version of test match batting.”
If England can make it to day five, it will give them extraordinary confidence going into the mid-series break. But I just don’t see it.
“Hi Adam.” Spencer Francis with the first email of the day. “Just curious: what would have happened if the on-field umpire had given Root out for caught behind and Root had reviewed? Would Root still be given not out? Or would the third umpire then check with the on-field umpire on what he thought about the impact point for LBW?”
My understanding is that the third umpire would then go through all possible modes of dismissal, but with it given not out on the field, he would still have been fine for leg before on the basis of impact. In other words, there would be no further discussion on that point.
For some pre-play reading, check out Jonny Liew’s latest column.
It’s been an interesting Test Match, it’s been a controversial Test Match. And today, barring a twist that sits completely outside the scope of what we know to be probable and logical, it will be a Test Match that concludes with India squaring the series at one-all.
England had their moments on the third morning, threatening to bowl out the hosts cheaply. But then Kohli had Ashwin join him for the stand that defined the day, the latter going on to post his fifth Test ton – an innings with an extraordinary degree of difficulty.
Setting England 482, and leaving them an hour to bat after spending the majority of the three days in the field, there was a sense of inevitability about the three wickets they lost before stumps. Indeed, that should have been four – Joe Root was a very lucky man to avoid being given out leg before just before the close.
But despite the dreadful position they find themselves on morning four, there is still meaning to be found for England in the hours to come. Just as it was for Ashwin last week when taking a big second-innings bag, form can be contagious – in a good way. If Dan Lawrence can bat for a couple of hours or more, resuming on 19 not out, it will do him the world of good after a lean run of late. As for Root, he gets the chance to swell his splendid 2021 runs tally.
However, to do that, both they will need to see of the mighty Ashwin, who really is at the peak of his powers. Alongside Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, India’s opportunity is to rout England today and leave a mighty scar before the show moves on to Ahmedabad
While the result in this game is all-but certain, our discussions on the OBO never are. So drop me a line – let’s have some fun.
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